Rutgers Equine Science Center Participates in First Urban 4-H Summer Science Program

Rutgers University will host 45 high school students in its first Annual 4-H Summer Science Program for urban youths at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

High school students from Camden, Hackensack, Paterson, and Trenton will learn about science July 6-10 as they explore research in a series of interactive activities in animal, marine, environmental, and food sciences alongside a number of Rutgers faculty from these disciplines. Most of these urban youths will be enjoying their first 4-H experience as they gain a better understanding of opportunities available in science, engineering, and technology.

On Tuesday, July 7, the Equine Science Center will present the students with a high-speed equine treadmill demonstration and simulated experiment in its Exercise and Physiology Laboratory. The students will also see yearlings from the popular Young Horse Teaching and Research Program.

"We're excited by the opportunity to show these kids how agriculture and science intersect at the Equine Science Center," says Karyn Malinowski, PhD, Center director. "The two fields aren't mutually exclusive. It's our hope that they will get inspired and realize that if they like horses, or are interested in science, there is a place for them at Rutgers. The work our faculty does helps both horses and humans, and our students continue to excel in national scientific competitions year after year. We are producing not just scientists with a solid background for the future, but future leaders for the agricultural industry."

Chad Ripberger, Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H agent, Mercer County, said, "The students are very excited about the opportunity to spend a week with Rutgers scientists--touring their labs, learning about their research, and how their work is applicable to our daily lives. The opportunity to live on campus for a week and get a taste of university life, is an important time for them, as they think about their futures and where they want to be in a few years."

Participants in this inaugural program have competed their freshman year in high school and were selected based on teacher recommendations and participation in an extensive application process that included writing an essay and interviews by their local 4-H staff. Each of the selected youth participants has agreed to provide a minimum of 50 hours of service to their local 4-H program, agreeing to work with 4-H staff in their community to provide science-focused after-school and summer programming to younger youth and children. The program will conclude on Friday, July 10, with 4-H SET Ambassador training workshops focused on the Experiential Learning Cycle, Strategies for Working with Younger Youth and Children, and Leadership Development.

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